Craig Hansen has started off the 2008 season in terrific style for the PawSox. Six innings, eight strikeouts, one hit. If that doesn’t make you say "MMMbop", I don’t know what would.
Yes, yes. Small sample size. But last year he had two big problems:
Severe sleep apnoea: He was waking many times a night and as a result was suffering fatigue and problems with focus. A 500-lb fat man, if you will (and who wouldn't). But off-season surgery in has corrected the problem
Release point: The probable reason his slider hasn’t as devastating as it was at St John’s. But looks like he’s found it again. Hello: I’m from the school of extrapolating wildly based on a handful of innings. Regardless, I’m back on the bandwagon.
I’m bravely predicting is that Hansen will make it to the Sox pen soon after the All-Star break, when he’ll become a solid 6/7 inning guy. All part of his renaissance in realising his potential as a dominant setup man.
Craig Hansen note: He was described as the most Major League-ready player in the 2005 draft class.
Bonus Craig Hansen note: He’s from Glen Cove, NY, where Hitchcock filmed bits of North by Northwest. The bits where James Mason and Martin Landau get Roger Thornhill liquored up and behind the wheel of a car, I believe. (And having looked it up, Glen Cove was also used for Annie Hall, Arthur and Batman Forever. We’ll forget about Batman Forever. Or try to, at any rate.)
Hanson note: If I saw the drummer, I’d probably bust him one on the snout. It would be a purely reflex action.
Bonus Hanson note: Their Wikipedia entry alleges that fans all over the world still celebrate Hanson Day on 6 May. Let’s just say I’m sceptical.